NCIS, 7x06, "Cracked" Well hi there, season favorite-so-far. I don't even think it's a question anymore; if it features Abby, it's automatically a favorite. I was already impressed by the intricately detailed body covered in equations (CGI, or amazing makeup department?), and intrigued by the story of a murdered genius, but then Abby got involved and blew us all away.
I had about three seconds of longing for the crack team of Cal Sci consultants to be the ones poring over this work instead, as surely the brain trust would have been more skilled at interpretation even if it was chemical engineering based...but then my ever-present Numb3rs remorse vanished because having Abby sink herself into 100% emotional over-involvement is a whole different twist, and quite an absorbing one. Nobody on Numb3rs would be caught promising things to dead bodies. Because that would be crazy. But Abby makes you empathize with her empathy.
Favorite moment, clearly (besides the final scene): Gibbs uncharacteristically yelling at Abby to cut through her veering-toward-crazy babbling about finding Mr. K. Wow. Well, that temporarily shuts her up.
"You just raised your voice to me. You never raise your voice to me."
Too many other favorite parts to count. Don't know what else to say about this treasure trove of loveliness, which would justify the existence of season 8 if Gibbs/Abby didn't already justify NCIS's eternal existence. Mostly I just kept "awww"-ing a lot. Ex:
-Awww. "It's her delusion, Abbs." And yet, this ultimately does not stop her crusade; Gibbs is still Wrong.
-Awww, I love all of this. "I need to get her back." For work purposes, mainly, but I will spin it for all contexts.
-Awwwwww, her Halloween lab! Her stumbling apologies until he puts his arm around her shoulders and kisses her temple before telling her it's OK. And walking out together like that - at least until she adorably scampers back for the lovely old Leaves of Grass book. Oh, please tell me she insists on reading at least one to Gibbs and/or vice versa. You can't introduce a prop with backstory like that and *not* let Abby carry on the tradition in her own way...
(I don't even particularly like Whitman or most poetry, but this episode still gets extra points for featuring an old book.)
Random: I loved the eleventeen (or at least 5) Caff Pows scattered around her lab, visible as a sight gag even before she starts hyper-babbling and McGee wonders just how many she might have consumed.
-Survivor: Why won't Marty leave? I swear he is the last true thorn in my side, and probably if they got rid of him I'd find a new one, but still, nobody else is half as aggravating as he is right now. In other news, Kelly got her first spoken camera time of the season. And the challenges were fun, but all I can focus on is HORSEBACK RIDING REWARD. I deliberately decided against scrutinizing the animals to see if they actually looked healthy and cared for, and just decided to be happy with how happy Chase was about getting to be around horses again after growing up with them. Another point in his favor! And kind of a rare point at that.
I watched this week's installment of Cougar Town, once I heard Ken Jenkins was dropping by (mini Scrubs reunion, high five! Now get McGinley. On second thought, don't; unless he comes on as her brother, my heart wouldn't be able to stand it if Ellie did not have an ill-advised affair with him ASAP). It was moderately amusing and I loved seeing him in a soft and cuddly role - plus, best bear costume in the world - but the only two thoughts in my head whenever I watch this show are 'ELLIE ELLIE ELLIE!!!!!!!" and, canceling out that squee, "Why does Grayson exist."
Oh, flist, you didn't think this would be a real review, did you? Gotcha! But don't worry, the next cut is many paragraphs.
So! On the one hand, I hate zombies and anything remotely related to zombies. With the mockery and derision power of a thousand TMZ employees, times the stroke-inducing rage carried around by Gordon Ramsey at all times. But a little more intensely.
On the other hand, that was a magnificent end-of-days AU. But part of canon, and not really AU -- yet with no lasting effects on canon, which made it that much better. Namely the way it threw me a survivalist story bone, and while again, I greatly prefer that my survivalist stories do not involve brain-dead cannibals -- "The Road" was such a godsend! -- I have to respect them banding together, only to drop one by one. Obviously for my purposes I'll be rewiring the zombie disease as a lethal strain of flu, and the horde of zombies as general lawless gangs, but there's more than enough raw material to work with here.
(also, until the government officials showed up, I was maybe hoping this disease could resemble something real enough to show up on House in season 9, when they've really REALLY run out of ideas)
The other thing this episode had going for it were the costumes. Does anyone know if there's an article online somewhere that compares Halloween costumes across the TV landscape? Because if not, I'm going to hold a private showdown between Community and The Office as the current industry leaders for creativity. Still working out how to award points, but surely there's a way to both provide head-to-head competition for individual awards, and determine which series has the best set of costumes as a collective effort.
Right now, I hereby nominate Annie Red Riding Hood as one of the most PRECIOUS THINGS EVER - I mean, she looks like she just skipped over to the Community set in the middle of filming a movie without having a chance to change. And now I'm pretty sure there needs to be a movie like this starring Alison Brie.
Britta's T-Rex wasn't nearly as cute as the squirrel last year, but I still love the precious and fun childlike theme of her costumes. Meanwhile, Jeff...eh, not so much with the Beckham look (I was going with hobo? It looked more like dirt than stubble on his face, and I did not notice the jacket), but I think he earned it after beaning someone with the soccer ball.
* There was a brief period of time, before the crazy, in which Britta's useless costume hampered her grasping ability and required Jeff to help her drink. The heart flutters when it flutters, OK? Speaking of:
* Who is this Dr. Rich, and how soon can we develop this in a more permanent way, because I will drop Annie/Jeff for that. Stupid zombies, interrupting the Nurse Annie fun. Oh, don't you love when shows offer solutions to previously unsolvable love triangles? Vaughn was such an upsetting diversion -- but this, this is like...that time Glee threw me Jesse St. James for an extremely limited period and then took him away and depressed me forever. But with less smarminess, making its inevitable loss worse.
* NINJA KITTY, ATTACK! ...it's seriously stupid how hard even the memory of that scene makes me laugh. Every time. Even though it has now been remembered roughly 200 times.
* Er, I initially thought Troy's costume was some sort of Transformer? And I actually thought it was cool. Had no idea what Abed was or how he tied in, since he was acting like a velociraptor dressed as a ninja, but I deemed that part irrelevant.
* It's intriguing and disturbing how much the dean actually looks like Lady Gaga in that outfit.
* I was on my way to figuring out Shirley's costume when I got distracted by THAT HORRIBLE THING WHICH NEVER HAPPENED. Come to think of it, I still have no idea what that was, but a mysterious leftover note reads: "Shirley is ? Some sort of fairy godmothGROSS GROSS GROSS WHY."
* ABBA! (Namely: everyone coming around to "Fernando.")
* Anything Jeff said!
* Troy repeatedly yelling "IN YOUR FACE!" while punching everyone in his path.
* Hey, a sound bite for the slash shippers, even! Oh, I should really be appreciating that at face friendship value as intended, but according to the Special Exception Clause on the Checklist of Cute, gender restrictions for shipping do not always apply for near-death/dying situations.
* I'm pretty sure the scariest part of this episode was the notion of voluntarily watching Marmaduke.
* The most upsetting moment was actually not Annie getting dragged through a window way too soon - that was second worst - but watching a shelf of library books get hurled to the ground. You know me.
IN CONCLUSION: I loved this episode so much I watched it twice. That means I had to actively, voluntarily track Community down online and sit through Hulu commercials after passively sitting through the live airing. It's that good.
P.S. I was reading Inkspell when the episode started. And for some reason, the actress playing Resa in the Inkheart film looked a phenomenal amount like Gillian Jacobs to me, so though she hardly looks old enough to have a 12-year-old daughter, Resa = Britta in my head, and having the two worlds abruptly collide for a second was surreal.
Private Practice: Iiiii disliked everybody so much that I'm going to side with Crazy Coma Husband and be done with it. Though, the end showed some promise of what's to come next week.
+ Hey, Addison, is this yet another instance of Sam not being perfect? Had to look that gift horse in the mouth, didn't you.
+ On the topic of Secretly Closeted Husband...let me just try and articulate this. His poor soon-to-be-ex wife who, from what I recall, has just gone through "a year of hell" having various surgeries and procedures order to try and have kids only to find out today that her husband's gay! and cheating on her with a career prostitute! (but they're in love. So that's either better or worse) and now he's HIV positive! ... has nothing except AN OUTPOURING OF SYMPATHY for HOW HARD THIS MUST HAVE BEEN FOR HIM?! I'm sorry, show, I just choked on your hamfisted message of tolerance and in revenge, have decided to leap through the TV screen and strangle your idiot character to expedite his much too far away death.
+ I constantly wish Pete and Violet would just be adorable circa 2009. My old brain would have been delighted to see teasing about her determination yet inability to handsew a costume for Lucas and to then see the family trick or treating together. And/or him with tears in his eyes, recounting for the one and only time (and absolutely without followup discussion) how his generally awful mother murdered the closest he ever had to a father, and his brother lied to protect her.
P.S. Test YOUR knowledge of the fall 2010 network TV schedule circa a month ago. Considering this is my area of expertise, so disappointed I only got 75/86. I figured I'd just miss new shows and reality, which was mostly true - especially when it came to ABC - but damned if I didn't fail to identify major fandom players Lie to Me, Castle and Chuck. Yeah, yeah, let's see which of my babies YOU miss. The other stuff I missed was understandable oversight, though technically I should have remembered most of it, but Secret Millionaire? I've never even heard of that one.